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rory joy WATCH: Rory McIlroy struggles to hold back his emotions as he wins after a final hole drama

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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates with the trophy after winning during the final round of the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 09, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates with the trophy after winning during the final round of the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 09, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy celebrates winning on the 18th green during the final round of the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 09, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy celebrates winning on the 18th green during the final round of the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 09, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates with the trophy after winning during the final round of the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 09, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy was filled with emotion as he admitted his first win since he became a father felt very special after he so nearly threw away a winning position on the final hole of the Wells Fargo Championship.

McIlroy held a two shot lead with just one hole left to play, but he failed to make the most of his winning opportunity as he hooked his tee shot and narrowly avoided a stream to the left of the fairway.

He opted to take a drop from a bad lie and that decision reaped rewards as he got his ball onto the green and two-putted to seal his first win in more than a year and a half.

The win is McIlroy’s third at Quail Hollow and sees him return to the top 10 of the world rankings two weeks before the year’s second major at another of the 32-year-old’s happy hunting grounds.

It was McIlroy's first win since he claimed the WGC-HSBC Champions in November 2019 and he admitted the wait had been painful.

"It has felt like a long time since that win in China," he said, while struggling to hold back his emotions after holing the winning putt.

"The world is a completely different place, with the pandemic. It just feels awesome, to break the drought and win here again is awesome."

McIlroy suggested the return of spectators was key to his triumph, as he feeds off the energy coming from the crowds.

"It's just awesome to play in front of these people again," added McIlroy. "When we came back last year amid the pandemic, I thought I'd enjoy the peace and quiet (without spectators).

"Now I realise I need this and I feel off the energy so much. The crowd really carried me through and now this is the first place I have won three times."

Now McIlroy can have a very different view of the upcoming USPGA Championship, that will get underway in two weeks.

The event is being staged at Kiawah Island for the first time since McIlroy romped to an eight-shot win there in 2012.

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